Betsy Robertson’s kitchen table became a makeshift Red Cross command post on Tuesday as she prepared for Hurricane Florence.
Robertson is one of about 700 people from the Red Cross responding to Hurricane Florence, which is currently bearing down on the Carolinas.
“It’s going to get real very quickly,” she said.
Robertson is a Seattle-based communications program manager for the organization. She will land in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday.
“This will be like a second skin over the next week or so,” Robertson said, holding up her Red Cross vest.
The Red Cross is preparing to help as many as 100,000 people currently in the path of the storm. More than 1 million people are currently under mandatory evacuation orders.
Being in a position to aid those on the East Coast means Robertson must leave two people at home – her husband and daughter.
“It’s a sacrifice, yes, but this is why we do it,” Robertson said. “The reward outweighs anything I might be missing here at home over the next few days.”
Still – while Robertson is on the road, her family worries.
“I do, yeah, especially after the last one, Hurricane Harvey,” said her husband, Darryl.
She deployed to Houston and helped set up the massive shelter for displaced storm victims.
“It didn’t just start raining,” said Robertson. “The storm came in and stopped, and the rain kept coming. That’s part of what they’re predicting and worried about in Florence.”
Running back towards a storm makes her nervous, but Robertson says the danger and time away are worth it to be first in line to help when people need it most.
“To be part of people making it through and coming out on the other end of a bad situation, hopefully in a better place than they would have been otherwise,” she said.